DURBAN - More than 100 pairs of school shoes were stolen from the non-profit organisation Themba Njilo Foundation, based in Pietermaritzburg, on Tuesday.
The shoes were meant for distribution to poor families in KwaZulu-Natal.
The burglary happened fifteen days before schools could re-open for 2022 in the province.
The Themba Njilo Foundation is a residential community programme created to serve disadvantaged communities through emotional, educational, social, economic, rehabilitation and health issues.
The foundation is based on Jabu Ndlovu Street in the Pietermaritzburg Central Business District.
Themba Njilo said the burglary happened before 5am. He said a security guard on duty heard noises, and when he went to investigate, he found a windowpane broken.
Njilo said the security guard could not tell how many burglars were in the place. He managed to chase the burglars, and while pursuing one of them, they dropped approximately 22 pairs of school shoes.
He said an estimated 127 pairs of Jet Class black shoes between size 2 to size 8 were stolen. The shoes were in boxes inside the office. The burglars also took some children's toys and a CCTV hard drive.
Njilo is pleading for any kind of assistance from the public to find the shoes.
“I had so many commitments to meet with schools reopening soon. These shoes would have changed the lives of so many young people. They have destroyed this place. These were brand new shoes. There are many incidents of break-ins and robberies at the business premises that we hear of in Pietermaritzburg.”
Pietermaritzburg police are investigating the incident.
He urged anyone with information to contact the Pietermaritzburg police on 10111 or his cell number on 082 954 9241